The Atlanta Braves opened their weekend series with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, their first win in 2014 over an American League team, while relying on a strong outing from starter Aaron Harang, as well as some first inning power, as both Evan Gattis and Chris Johnson went yard in the opening frame.
Unfortunately for the Braves, those four runs in the first inning would be all the offense could muster, as C.J. Wilson settled down and finished his outing – going six total innings, allowing six hits and striking out eight in 107 pitches – but got tabbed for his sixth loss of the season. Harang, on the other hand, also went six full innings (in 100 pitches even), allowing just four hits and a single run, but walked more than he struck out (three/two).
It seemed smooth sailing until the top of the eight inning, when we saw our first shades of rookie-ness from Shae Simmons as he allowed two runs on just two hits, but was able to keep the damage at that, and good ol’ Kimbrel came in the ninth to collect the final three outs, and put the Braves back on the winning track.
Luckily for Atlanta, the early offense today proved to be enough (both fortunately and unfortunately), as we didn’t see a replay of the second game in Colorado, and Harang did a wonderful job of holding the Angels potent line up in check.
It was a pleasant, and much needed, welcome back to Turner Field, as plenty of Braves fans throughout the internet believed the Angels would use Atlanta as a drum stick, but the Braves came out and made a statement early.
The Braves are in the national limelight for the next two games, as tomorrow will see time on big Fox as Gavin Floyd will oppose Garrett Richards for a 7:15 first pitch, before being showcased on Sunday Night Baseball for the first time this year.